West Coast skiers enjoy tall, picturesque mountains with feet of powdered snow and plenty of trails for all experience levels. The best ski destinations also offer other recreational activities — like sightseeing, shopping, and dining — all while surrounded by comfortable lodging and breathtaking views.
Here are five of the best vacation spots for West Coast skiing.
1. Mammoth Mountain, California
Mammoth Mountain in California is a four-season getaway near Mammoth Lakes with 3,500 skiable acres, 25 lifts, and an average of 400 inches of snow each ski season. Its 11,053-foot peak is the tallest lift-served summit in the state. Base elevation sits at just under 8,000 feet. You can typically plan ski vacations here from November through June, conditions permitting. The mountain’s 150 named trails offer plenty for beginners, intermediates, advanced, and experts, with a slight majority aimed toward intermediate skiers.
In addition to downhill skiing, visitors also enjoy:
- Lakeside cross-country skiing.
- Guided snowmobiling trips.
- Snowshoeing expeditions.
- Scenic gondola rides with lake and mountain views.
- Tubing at Woolly’s Tube Park.
- Beginner’s backcountry touring lessons.
During warmer months, the region becomes a haven for hikers, bikers, and rock climbers. When you’re not on the slopes, winter in the Mammoth Mountain area calls for local indulgences at on-mountain and off-mountain restaurants, coffee houses, and bars. Take in a movie at the local cinema, go shopping in the village, or find wellness at a spa or yoga studio. Two popular lodging options include Luxury Home Rentals, which offer private residences for groups, and The Village Lodge, complete with balconies and gondola access.
The closest airport to Mammoth Mountain is Mammoth Yosemite Airport (MMH).
2. Olympic Valley, California
Olympic Valley near California’s Lake Tahoe is a famous skiing region for several reasons. Most notably, it was the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics. The ski resort spans two mountain peaks that contain a collective 6,000 skiable acres covered in 450 inches of annual snowfall. Difficulty spans from beginner-level trails to expert-level runs, bands, and open bowls traversed by Olympic experts.
When you are not downhill skiing, you can participate in other activities, such as:
- Cross-country skiing.
- Dog sledding.
- Backcountry touring.
Other popular pastimes include ice skating in nearby Tahoe City and North Lake Tahoe Regional Park. Warm months in the Olympic Valley are ideal for disc golf, hiking, and biking along the Truckee River, all while enjoying views of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevadas. While you’re in town, stop by the Olympic Museum and see memorabilia from the 1960s games before venturing through the Bavarian-style shops, restaurants, bars, spas, and yoga studios.
The easiest way to get to the Olympic Valley is by flying into the Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO).
3. Northstar, California
Northstar is a top choice for families because of its child-friendly ski school and activities, but skiers of all types and experience levels will enjoy what Mount Pluto — a now-extinct volcano — has to offer. The mountain houses 3,170 skiable acres that encompass 100 different trails and eight terrain parks. The average snowfall for the region is about 350 inches annually. It’s also the largest snowmaking system in N Lake Tahoe. Ski season usually lasts from mid-November through April.
Additional on-site activities include:
- Cross-country skiing.
- Fat tire snow biking.
- Homemade soap, pottery, and candle lessons.
Around town, take advantage of the numerous upscale and casual pubs, bars, restaurants, and coffee shops, or shop your way through local boutiques. Warm weather fun includes hiking, mountain golf, and mountain biking. Northshore Resort offers private homes, condos, and hotel room rentals.
Visitors fly into Northstar through the Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO).
4. Deer Valley, Utah
If your idea of the perfect ski trip includes luxurious accommodations, attentive on-slope and in-room service, and pristine skiing trails, it’s time to plan a trip to Deer Valley. Utah’s premier skiing destination is known for its meticulously groomed, ski-only trails. Mountain snow varies between 150 and 300 inches, with 21 lifts and 103 trails across 2,000 acres.
Lodging at Deer Valley Resort is cozy and indulgent, with three separate resort areas for all tastes and interests. Each portion includes a unique view of the surrounding mountains. In addition to attentive, professional service, guests get complimentary amenities, like ski valets, mountain tours, and car service to explore the town. While you’re out, enjoy upscale fireside dining, sip a brew at a laid-back cafe, and relax with handcrafted cocktails at a local lounge.
Other activities you are sure to enjoy include:
- Exploring the mountain on a snowmobile.
- Skiing with an Olympic athlete.
- Relaxing on a scenic lift ride.
- Taking classes at an award-winning ski school.
- Shopping in the shops and boutiques in Deer Valley.
Summertime activities — like fly fishing, stand-up paddleboarding, horseback riding, and private guided hikes — make Deer Valley a year-round paradise.
Guests can fly into nearby Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) for a quick commute to the resort.
5. Big Bear Mountain Resort, California
Big Bear Mountain Resort gives you access to two separate California peaks — Snow Summit and Bear Mountain. Snow Summit is an 8,200-foot peak with 240 ski acres, while Bear Mountain stands at 8,805 feet with 748 acres. The ski season lasts from November through April, with about 125 inches of annual snow on average. Each mountain offers a variety of trails and conditions for beginner, intermediate, advanced, and expert skiers.
Other fun mountain activities include:
- Snowboarding on designated trails.
- Nighttime skiing sessions with freshly groomed powder.
- High-speed tubing at Grizzly Ridge Tube Park.
Off the mountain, you can explore nearby museums, visit Big Bear Alpine Zoo, and see more of San Bernardino National Forest. You’ll find an abundance of local BBQ eateries, nightlife lounges, coffee shops, and shopping opportunities. Warmer months bring visitors who love the mountains for their rich mountain biking, golf, and horseback riding options.
There are multiple driving routes to Big Bear Mountain Resort once you arrive through Big Bear Airport (RBF).
With multiple convenient locations across the United States, Latitude 33 is ready and waiting to take you on your next West Coast skiing holiday. We are leaders in the industry and the only private jet company to receive an ARGUS Platinum safety rating in San Diego. Every flight promises a comfortable, enjoyable experience, with helpful crew and custom flight options.